Wendla: How did you come here?
Melchior: I followed my thoughts. ~ Frank Wedekind, Spring’s Awakening
Over the years, about 4 now, I believe, I’ve had an ongoing friendship with Skip Staheli. When we first met, I’m sure he didn’t have a clue what to make of me. I was “supposed” to be a model but I would always approach him with these hair-brained wild ideas that typically had very little to do with fashion modeling. As kind patient friends go, he is at the top of my list because he not once balked at taking my idea, putting his own creative spin on it and creating my dream as art. I used to create these pictures because I like the challenge of styling, but as we evolved together, he and I, I think what we have created is a kick arse basis for a children’s book. The only problem is I don’t know when we will be done enough to begin. I suppose time will tell, but for now I just want to say, I love you Skip, your art never disappoints me. Thank you my dear friend for all of these years!
As an aside, I did Strawberry Singh’s: meme for those who need a little sleeping material to beat down their insomnia:
1.When and how did you discover Second Life? – I think everyone knows this answer. I joined Second Life in March 2007 as part of a computer class I was taking at the University of Florida. UF had created an online campus much like parts of the real life campus.
2.Did you know about virtual worlds before or was this your first experience with them? – No, I didn’t even know of their existence. Don’t get me wrong, of course I knew about online games and things, but since I had no real interest, they were just some sort of vague concept to me. To be honest, when I first stepped in, I was probably similar to a kid in a candy store. Well, in a dork sort of way since even the act of walking tended to land me into walls or oceans. I fell in the ocean once.. only to be mauled by a shark. Ah, the good old days.
picture courtesy of http://www.benhickling.com
3. Has Second Life met your expectations? – I didn’t have any expectations because I had no clue. Does it now? In a way, it sure does meet my expectations, but in others, I think there is a long way to go.
4.If you could teleport back to the first ten minutes of your avatar’s slife, what would you tell yourself? Don’t go to those “places” they are nawty! Naw, just kidding, I was never a “wild one.” I think I would tell myself to actually “do” the discovery island thingy, even to this day there is so much I don’t know how to do. You know, like mute someone. That’s a tough one because I’ve never learned it. But the weird thing is I found a “muted people” list once and there were people on it…. So apparently there is some quick key for it because I muted some people who I don’t even know. If I muted one of you I’m sorry! Let me know and I’ll un-mute you! Oh, erm, well..
5.How long did it take you to master avatar flying and driving vehicles inworld? – I actually don’t do either. I’m a little too clumsy to handle the auto thing and Cao’s flying just conjures up the image of corpulent sus scrofa’s flying and we all know that imagine and that’s about the time I will start flying. Think about it a sec, the picture will come to you. Ah ‘ell, here it is…
6.Do you have a mystery alt? – I don’t. I have a difficult enough time keeping up with one me, can you imagine a dozen spork toting, spanx wearing, little moo’s wandering around Second Life? They’d have to create the first loony bin to park me in. It would be all like this, but Cao’s, wearing knickers, so cuter of course!
7.Is your SL avatar a reflection of you, or someone you wished you could be? – I think like most people, my avatar is me. I’ve never felt the need to pretend to be someone I am not because that isn’t what my Second Life is about.
8.Is there an individual you met in SL that inspired you in your RL? How? – My Second Life is so much a part of my Real Life, I blog in real life my Second Life pictures, I chat with Second Life residents in real life, seldom in Second Life, so I would have to say there isn’t an individual who has inspired me but a conglomerate. A conglomerate of YOU’S. The creativity in our Second World is a daily inspiration to me, the generous nature of people is as well. (Speaking of which, after this post, I have to blog bald for 9 days. 9 DAYS!!) All because you all donated 40,501L’s to TiviSpiritor kiosk for Relay for Life that I blogged Here: Thanks for all of your generosity!
9.Do you feel it is easier to create stronger bonds/relationships with people you meet inworld as opposed to the real world? –I think the bonds are much the same in SL and RL. I am perhaps a little less shy in Second Life but not much. However I do appreciate the bonds I have with several of Second Life’s citizens. Friends like Skip Staheli, one of my long time besty’s and the photographer of most of my fantasy pictures.
10.Did you ever imagine or believe people could fall in love with someone they never met before Second Life? – Yes. I know it happens and has been for century’s, I mean, what is a mail ordered bride but someone you’ve never met before and they do at times actually find love. Heck, I reckon most days my mum wishes she could afford the postage to mail me somewhere to be someone’s bride. But I also think that it is a rare occurrence that one will find a true and lasting love because this type of love tends to flourish in couples with similar upbringing and personality because the similarities create deep roots. But that’s my opinion and I know I’ve been proved wrong time and time again, for those friends, I am very happy for them.
11.How has your perspective of dating changed (or not) since you started playing second life? – I don’t Second Life date and never have. It’s just not my thing. I have a difficult problem with trust and to be that trusting would probably make me so uncomfortable I’d have to choke down a bottle of Xanax with a tequila chaser just to make it through the date.
12.How has your perspective of employment changed (or not) since you started playing second life? – It hasn’t really changed much, I know there are very successful entrepreneurs in Second Life but there are in other online settings as well, so it makes sense it should spill over, but when you think about the notion that they are making money by selling you items you can’t really touch and feel, that concept boggles my mind. I try not to think about how much I’ve spent. Just don’t think about it. Walk away from the question..
13.Name three things in both your lives that overlap each other significantly. – As I said earlier, my Second life is more real life than a Second one. I am in SL so little that most of my overlap is of the real world sort so what comes to mind is pictures, blogging and Facebook friends. Geesh Peep! I can hear you snoring all the way over here!
14.If you could live your life more immersively in a virtual world, would you? (Kind of like the Matrix) – I’d open up that door and crawl right in. Naw, just kidding. These days I think my SL days are numbered, I just have to reach the point where I actually cut the parachute string. Lately I find that as I’m sitting at my laptop, my eyes and mind wander out the window and I long to be out there, not inworld. I no longer feel guilty about not blogging, it’s just a general restlessness to move on.
15.How do you think behavior changes for people if they’re inworld vs in real world? Why do you think that is? – I don’t think people are more rude inworld, but I do think at times they don’t realize how what they say can be interpreted. Sure, there are cyber-bullies, but they are shamefully everywhere. But some people are generous to a fault as well because SL enables them to help with things like Wigs For Kids and Relay for Life in ways they would be unable to in their real worlds.
16.How has second life consumerism changed your perception of spending habits, the value of money, the need to be “bleeding edge” with fashion? –I live in Second Life to style fashion. I truly do. Some people find it easy to paint their own Picasso, I find my passion in creating a look. Face it, I live in a Podunk drinking village with a fishing problem. Fashion to this place is a T-shirt, bikini and flip-flops. Heck, I have to drive to the next county to find a decent Mall. Unfortunately, I love fashion, so SL gives me this creative outlet. I’ve probably spent more than I should have, I am much more aware of the value of money in my real life, but I have always kept myself on a strict budget in SL as well, allotting only a certain amount a month. So on the one hand, I am more a consumerist in my Second Life than my first, but on the other, my value of money definitely stems from my real life. My Real Life is MUCH more glamorous than my Second one, see? I couldn’t make this up!
17.Do you think virtual worlds like SL drive and redefine human interaction or do they narrow and limit it? – I think they limit it. We no longer associate or choose to help our real world next door neighbor, choosing to keep our face sucked into computers, cell phones and tablets. Hallo! That person that was standing next to you in the elevator while you were chatting in FB? They just may have been the best friend you may never know you had.
18.If technology progressed tomorrow to allow you to send emotions to people the way you’d send text or voice messages, would it enrich your SL experience or infringe on it? Actually, unfortunately, I think the technology is already there. I read something somewhere about computers that could “stimulate” while simulating foreplay amongst virtual lovers (not sure if it was happening or supposition) but either way, it appears to be looming along the horizon. I don’t like it personally. I think it encourages us to be a society of people who don’t socialize on any real world human level, choosing to stay ensconced in our dwellings living a fantasy. I don’t think I’d like a life that sterile.
19.Name three skills you attribute to having learned or honed in second life alone. – Photoshop, photography and blogging.
20.If your grand kids googled your Second Life Avatar’s name, would they be intrigued, disgusted, proud or something else? – If I were able to have grandchildren, I like to hope they would see Cao for who she is meant to be. A virtual girl who thinks it’s okay to be a little gawky, thinks it a good thing to laugh at ones self, who hopefully brings a smile to people and believes it’s probably a good idea to always be polite and kind. Oh and to always wear clean, un-holey knickers, you know, in case you get in some sort of accident or something, I mean, what would the ambulance drivers think, right? See mum? I do listen to you!